Mi Teleferico in La Paz, Bolivia

Public transportation using cable cars in the highest capital in the world, La Paz, is certainly quite interesting. When you consider the fact that city is literally built on the sides of a mountain as well as a dense population, getting around the city wasn’t easy until the cable car system was built. Now, instead of winding through narrow streets with steep inclines, people soar over the rooftops to one of the different destinations. There are 3 interconnected lines, just like most transit systems, with red, yellow, and green lines. Although it is a method of transportation that allows citizens to move throughout the city, it is also an incredible way for tourists to truly see this amazing city from a different standpoint.

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Colorful Buildings
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Riding in the Cable Cars
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Rugged Scenery
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One of the Few Bridges

During our trip to La Paz, we took a combination of the yellow and green lines as a round trip that let us see a majority of the city. Between all of the lines, there are a total of 11 stations or stops that you can enter or exit from that each head to different areas within the city. The cable cars run between 5:00 am until 10:00 pm and, although we only went during the day, the views would be amazing in the evening as well. One of the things that stands out as you ride above the city is that La Paz is a very colorful city with interesting architectural details.

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Interesting Architecture
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One of the Green Line Stations
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Mountainous Backdrop
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City Sprawling Across the Valley

La Paz is certainly an fascinating city with very friendly people and is definitely worth visiting if you are going to Bolivia. If you do visit La Paz, we’d recommend taking time to see the Valley of the Moon in addition to riding on Mi Teleferico as the cable car system is known. Seeing the city from the heights of the cars is certainly one of our favorite memories of our time in Bolivia. We also took a couple of day trips from La Paz to do Death Road as well as went to Tiwanaku, Copacabana, and Lake Titicaca where we went to Sun and Moon Island.

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Above the Rooftops
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Heading Towards the Station
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Great View of La Paz

 

Teleferico in Quito, Ecuador

If you want to get tremendous views of Quito, Ecuador, the Teleferico is definitely a great way to do it. The Teleferico is a cable car that takes you up the Pichincha volcano. Once the cable car drops you off, there is the opportunity to continue hiking even farther up the side of the mountain. In addition to views of Quito, if the weather is clear enough, you can see other volcanoes in the distance like Cayambe and Cotopaxi.

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Riding Up the Teleferico
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Amazing Views
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View of Cotopaxi Volcano
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Volcanoes Behind Us
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View of the Valley

Hiking at such high altitudes is definitely difficult and can easily take your breath away. It is strange for us, who live in Colorado, to see plants and trees growing at heights as high as 14,000 feet (4,270 meters). The tree line here starts at about 11,000 feet (3,350 meters) at which point the air is too thin for anything to grow. We assume that it is likely due to the high humidity in South America and the Andes mountains that allows plants to grow at such altitudes.

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Looking Up at the Trail
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Amazing Peaks
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Quito with Cotopaxi Volcano in the Distance
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You can Ride Horses if You Want
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Cayambe Volcano

Even if you don’t decide to hike up towards Bear Cave, the views from the top of the Teleferico are worth seeing if you are visiting Quito. The cable car ride itself is quite steep, so if you have a fear of heights you should try to sit so that you are looking up at the side of the mountain and not down. If you are able to, though, sitting so that you look back at Quito as you climb higher and higher provides amazing views. It is often foggy and cloudy in Ecuador, so if you are able to time your trip for a clear day, you will be rewarded with spectacular scenery.

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Quito is a Long, Narrow City
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Starting the Hike
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Amazing Views from the Trail
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Rugged Landscape

Crossing Rivers in the Rainforest

Since there are not a lot of roads in the jungles of South America, local residents get creative on ways to cross the many rivers. Especially during the rainy season, these rivers can be quite treacherous, so the last thing that anyone would want to do is take a boat to try and cross them. Instead, cables are suspended across the rivers and then a metal cage is used to transport people and supplies from one side to the other. Since the cage can only be on one side or the other, when it isn’t on the same side as the travelers, someone must pull themselves across the cable to reach the other side and then pull the cage back over. It really was as thrilling as it looks. We decided to share these photos for this week’s Cee’s Which Way Photo Challenge.

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First Glimpse of the Cage
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Our Guide Crossing for the Cage
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Bringing the Cage Across
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Starting to Cross
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Looking Back